Lloyd Doyley has concluded his protracted search for a new club by joining Rotherham United, it was announced this morning.
The defender was released by Watford in the summer but Neil Warnock wasted no time in snapping him up after recently taking over at Rotherham, signing him on a deal until the end of the season, subject to Football Association and Football League ratification.
Doyley, 33, was initially invited to train with Charlton, on the recommendation of former chief Watford scout Mark Stow who holds a similar role at the Valley, and he played in a Kent Senior Cup win in November. However, the change in manager at Charlton saw Doyley jump at the chance to potentially win a contract at QPR when Warnock took over as caretaker manager and invited the redoubtable defender to Loftus Road.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink landed the job permanently at QPR and that ended Doyley’s chances of winning a deal. He went to Gillingham for a short spell but they apparently stalled over offering him terms so he tried his luck at Bristol City. John Pemberton, who was in caretaker charge at Ashton Gate, fancied the fellow right-back, we are told, but then Lee Johnson was handed the full-time job at Bristol City and talk of a deal went cold. That would have come as something of a surprise to Doyley as he came through the Watford youth system at the same time as Johnson while Mark Ashton, the former Watford chief executive, does the hiring and firing at Bristol City these days.
“I think he’s just lacking a little bit of match fitness at the minute but we’ll see him this week in training,” said Warnock earlier in the week.
Tomorrow’s Championship game against Burnley, who are managed by Sean Dyche, one of Doyley’s former managers at Watford, will probably come too soon for the right-back who has not played a league game since Boxing Day 2014. In the Burnley squad will be Lloyd Dyer whose most memorable moment in a Watford shirt came ironically came against Rotherham.